Updated: Apr 22
America feels a little bit safer today. Following the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, it appears we have finally learned something since Rodney King.
And while Chauvin was rightfully convicted on all three charges, there is still the issue of systematic racism in law enforcement. Three other members of the Minneapolis police force face justice and the Justice Department announced it will launch a probe into the policing policies of this agency.
America can feel a bit safer knowing justice has been served by this verdict.
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Businesses, who feared a different verdict can take down the boards erected to protect their livelihoods. The anger over an unjust verdict turned to celebrations for a justice system that saw their duty, and performed it well. And while no one should condone violence, unlike the many Republicans who did so following the January 6th insurrection, it would have been understandable given the overwhelming evidence.
America can feel a bit safer knowing that the Justice Department is once again operating as an independent agency, seeking to protect the citizenry no matter what their political leanings maybe. Instead of an attorney general being used to carry out personal vendettas and issue retribution for perceived slights, we have one who is looking out for the welfare of all Americans.
Even though we can feel safer, we still must remain vigilant.
Numerous states are introducing anti-protestor laws, giving drivers protection if they run these protestors over. There are still white supremacists who seek to inflict their will on others and prevent minorities from exercising their Constitutional rights.
There are still members of law enforcement who will abuse their authority. There are still members of Congress who supported the insurrection and still push the big lie of a “stolen election”.
So, while America can feel a bit safer, it will also be difficult to maintain this level of safety.
The issues associated with racism have not magically disappeared. The intransigence of certain members of Congress who refuse to consider what will improve our nation remains as party loyalty outweighs the greater good.
And, lest we forget, the restrictions in place to protect us from the pandemic are being ignored, resulting in the possibility of yet another lost summer.
So, America seems a bit safer…for now.